Sat, Jan 27|
Winter Master Class: Valhalla – An Aristocratic Myth?
Lead by Dr. Irina-Maria Manea. MUST RSVP TO RECEIVE ZOOM LINK.
Time & Location
Jan 27, 2024, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
About the Event
The aim of this Master Class would be to delve into the origins and meanings of Valhöll as representative for the conceptions of death among a particular class of people – the aristocracy. Several clues point to the possibility that Valhöll—which translates to "the hall of the warriors killed in battle"—was first used as late as the 900s. Most likely, the name originated from be employed as a mythological designation for a previous interpretation of Odin's dwelling. In the realm of the gods, he introduced notable fighters who had perished in combat. One common line of thinking was in terms of evolutionary mythology, from the more general afterlife in Hel, in and underneath the grave, towards a more specialised Viking heaven. The multitude of motifs we find linked to Valhöll – splendour of the palace, shielded roofs, never-ending liquor, everlasting boar meat, glorious deeds performed by the Einherjar – point out a well-defined social context with chieftains and warriors residing among gods in a world that reproduces a mead hall but mythologized as a cosmic centre where Odin and the dead unite in a mystical communion. Potential differentiations could also be identifiable in the grave goods or the potential rituals performed in the hall. On the other hand, the obscurities and inconsistencies of Valhöll’s depiction only reinforce the idea of an originally vague and unsystemic religion – probably due to people’s personalised approach to the mythical realities of the afterlife and the gods.
By joining this Master Class you will an in-depth understanding of the cosmological myth of Valhalla and the diversity of afterlife concepts in the Norse world.
You must RSVP to receive the Zoom link. The class will be recorded, but the recording will only be shared with those that RSVP.